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Shani Tarashaj 24

Everton moved swiftly and quietly to wrap up the acquisition of Shani Tarashaj in January 2016, a 20-year-old forward who was largely unknown in England but highly regarded in his native Switzerland where some commentators felt he was a better prospect than Xherdan Shaqiri at the same age.

The Blues signed him for a reported £3m fee and secured him on a four-and-a-half-year contract before loaning him back to Grasshopper Zurich for the remainder of the 2015-16 season, a condition of the deal that would allow Tarashaj to complete his national service.

Tarashaj made his debut for Grasshopper in 2014 but his career in their first team didn't ignite until earlier this season when he scored five goals in four starts. That earned him a new four-year contract in September and attracted the attention of Everton's chief scout, Kevin Reeves, as well as the likes of Juventus and Inter Milan.

"I first found out Everton were interested two or three months ago and now I am here," Tarashaj told evertontv after penning his new deal with the Toffees. "For me that is the the best thing about Mr Martinez wanting me – his belief in young players.

"I heard that he was a good manager and works well with young players individually – this is what I want to make me a better player."

And the mutual appreciation was reflected by manager Roberto Martinez:

“I feel he is going to bring something very, very special to us. He is probably the best young talent in Swiss football.

“There are a couple of young players with a good reputation but I think he could have really good future… I feel that he’s going to get fans off their feet. He’s that type of young talent that we like to attract to Goodison.” 

Tarashaj would go to Euro2016 with the Swiss national side, ending Albania's hopes that he might elect to represent them, but only got one minute on the pitch at the end of a group game before Switzerland were eliminated in the Round of 16.

Tarashaj featured in Everton's 2016 pre-season preparations before he picked up a minor injury and was not a part of new manager Ronald Koeman's first-team plans as the season kicked off. On transfer deadline day, he joined Eintracht Frankfurt on a season-long loan.

Tarashaj made 15 appearances for the German club but had to wait until the middle of September 2016 to even start training with them after suffering with benign angina.

His Bundesliga debut in October was followed by his first goal later that month in the 3-0 win over Hamburg but he would miss another five games after having to have his tonsils removed.

Shani returned to the Frankfurt side as a sub against Wolfsburg and Mainz in December and was looking for an injury-free run in 2017 in the hope of impressing his parent club but was struck down by injury again in the summer. A serious knee problem required surgery and it would sideline him for the remainder of the year.

More than two years after signing for Everton, he finally got to play in a competitive game, appearing as a surprise second striker for David Unsworth's Under-23s near the end of an increasingly poor season for the Blues, who were unable to reprise their impressive securing of the Premier League 2 in 2016-17. And Tarashaj was not much help, getting pulled at half-time after a very unimpressive performance in a shocking 0-4 home loss to West Ham United.

Clearly not considered good enough by the new Brands & Siva management team keen to trim their bloated squad, Everton would offload him back to his old club, Grasshopper Zurich, at the beginning of the 2018-19 season, for a season-long loan.

He made three early-season sub appearances for Grasshoppers, and then injured his foot in August and was out for a significant period.

FactFile

Squad number 24*
Position Forward
Nationality Switzerland
Born Hausen am Albis
Date of birth 7 February 1995
Height 5'-9" (1.74 m)
Joined 7 January 2016
Joined from Grasshopper Zurich
Signed under Roberto Martinez
Transfer fee £3m
Contract duration 4½ years
Contract expires June 2020
Full debut Not yet
Previous Clubs Grasshopper Zurich
» Soccerbase Datafile
» Wikipedia Entry
» Transfermarkt

Everton Career

Season Squad No. League Apps (sub) League Goals Cup Apps (sub) Cup Goals Total Apps (sub) Total Goals
2015-16
--
0 (0)
0
0 (0)
0
0 (0)
0
2016-17
*
0 (0)
0
0 (0)
0
0 (0)
0
2017-18 24 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0
2018-19 24* 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0
  Totals 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0
     

* Season-long loans at Eintracht Frankfurt and then Grasshopper Zurich

 

Loan Spells

Season Team League Apps Cup Apps League Goals Cup Goals
2015-16 Grasshopper Zurich 10 (5) 0 (0) 3 0
2016-17 Eintracht Frankfurt 1 (12) 1 (1) 1 0
2018-19 Grasshopper Zurich 0 (3) 0 (0) 0 0

 

Everton U23s Career

Season Team League Apps Cup Apps League Goals Cup Goals
2016-17 Under-23s  0 (0) 0 (0) 0 0
2017-18 Under-23s  1 (1) 0 (0) 0 0

Previous Career

Season Team Appearances (sub) Goals
2014-16 Grasshopper Zurich 37 & 6 19 & 1
       



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